What’s in the name of a headache? A tension headache is different than a sinus headache is different than an eye-strain headache with visual aura is different than a cervicogenic headache, right? In Heal Your Headache, David Buchholz, M.D., says that all of these sorts of headaches derive from the same place – migraine – and so if we only treat one aspect of the whole, we miss the root cause, and end up with incomplete treatment.
I can’t help but relate with everything in this book.
The partial-page stories of Buchholz’s patients mirror my own. They experienced frustration throughout misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis. Some received surgeries they didn’t need for problems they thought they had. As I first started to form the basis for this ebook, Tripping On [The American Healthcare System], I thought about how I had some juicy insight into the American Healthcare System, but now I realize that the only unique thing I’m contributing is my comprehensive, subjective perspective. I am forcing tens of thousands of words out there into the world about what’s been going on with my head.
I am breaking my protected health information rights.
I have nothing to hide because by sharing this, I can get the answers I need for one, and for two, colleagues have told me about their headaches more openly than maybe they would have otherwise? We hide our corporate vulnerabilities from everyone. The only pain we express is the pain of not having completed enough work in a timely enough manner. It’s all a joke. I’m not looking for the most vulnerable, sensitive topics to exploit. I share my previously vulnerable topics as a way to grow and surpass those vulnerabilities.
If I name it, I can tame it.
However, the dangerous part is naming it incorrectly. My headaches are not actually due to head problems. They’re due to neck and spinal issues that compressed wrong, expanded wrong, and engulfed me in enough issues to impair my life’s plans for a few months. I’m getting back into better shape than ever now. It wasn’t due to inherent negligence on my part. As soon as I received my medical benefits, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment, which led to one-off Doctor-Number-One essays.
I didn’t have the verbiage for my headaches.
Now, after having spent more money than I should have been forced to spend, I can say the right terminology to the right medical professionals to get the treatment I need. It’s almost through having experienced that burden, I can then lift that burden from my back. I write these essays to express that pain, first, but if others can benefit from this then even if I don’t profit at all from their gains, it will be fine.
I hate that headaches are subjective pain.
What can we do to make the pain more objective? When we have issues with our kidneys or gallbladders or anything else, all it takes is going in, pointing to what’s going on, getting a few scans, and we’re on our way to being healed. For me, I’ll see Doctor-Number-Twelve in a few hours to review the diet side of my headaches. This meeting may not bear the ripest fruits, compared to physical therapy, but if there are any dietary triggers – which now I know there are dietary triggers for headaches – then I can learn to cut them out completely.
All this fighting has made me tired.
Fortunately, I feel like I’m through the worst of it. I know so much more now about medicine, healthcare, and diagnostics than I did before. This should help with my life going forward. If there’s one thing I can recommend to every reader, it’s establishing a health baseline. Were it not for my MRI brain scan back in 2012, they might have taken longer to review my MRI here a few days ago. It’s not fun going into the doctor’s office for routine visits, but it’s less fun going in, having to argue that you are sick, leaving with medication that doesn’t work or makes you sicker, and repeating that process for months at a time.
I didn’t know if I would feel better.
Now I know that I will, albeit on a slower path to progress than necessary. If I had known about Heal Your Headache, if I had known all that I know now, then I could have just learned more stretches, but the body is a weird thing. These headaches diverted my attention away from the mild dextroscoliosis and disc problems the neck X-ray found. If those pain signals had lit up, as I just told a colleague, then it could have saved me all that hassle.
Why didn’t my back hurt as much as my head?
Maybe that’s why none of the first few doctors wanted to help me out to the best of their ability? Doctor-Number-Five was the first one to listen to me babble through what I knew of the problem and offer possibilities for fixing the issue. Sure, it ended up not being a medicine issue, but it certainly could have been easier than it had. I guess it’s just a matter of knowing that if I write it out, and compile all this into something – even if it’s not a product that has a price tag – then maybe it’ll be helpful for others? Maybe they can read through this or have heard about this and get the help they need for whatever ails them quicker than me?
I’m looking forward to wrapping up this book.
Both reading Heal Your Headache, any further suggestions from the neurologist, and wrapping up this book I’m writing here, because then I can move on with my life. Completing this book will be the metaphorical wrapping up of the headaches that have, for the past few months, controlled my life. They’ve prevented me from earning money, vocationally and avocationally, and living the life I want to live.
It’s been a journey but I’m seeing the tunnel’s end ahead.
|Sources: My personal, professional, and reading experiences.|
|Inspirations: Reading through the rest of the book and writing at the tail end of the worst of my headaches. The book, surprisingly, seems to carry through that same arch, where once Buchholz covers the main points, he writes about all the random things that could cause headaches, so in a way, it’s a complete summary of headaches.|
|Related: Other Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Picture: I didn’t feel like taking a photo of the book.|
|Written On: 2020 February 11 [25 minutes. From 2:13am to “pain signals had lit up at 2:32am, then from 2:42am to 2:48am. Gdocs.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 February 16 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|